Complex Made Simple

UAE investment shifts towards the East

Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai Financial Centre (DIFC) said that the UAE is currently exploring investment opportunities in eastern countries that include Malaysia, China, Korea, India and Thailand. "[The] East is the future, it's the growth," said Bin Sulaiman during the DIFCweek Financial Times conference in Dubai.

Yet in comparison to the Western countries like the USA and the UK, eastern economies are still burdened by bureaucracy which might slow down the pace of business.

“We are still exploring ways to enter the markets, but we still haven’t figured out the route to do that yet,” said Bin Sulaiman.

“There is fruit to be picked but it’s not as great as we want it to be…and that’s what we are working on right now,” he added.

Finding ways to penetrate these markets might take time, but already experts in the sector are starting to feel the scales tip. “The shift is clearly towards the Middle East and Asia. The US is still important, but less so in the 10 years to come,” said Ronald Arculli, Chairman of Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing at the conference.
While Henry Azzam, CEO for the Middle East and North Africa Deutsche Bank said that entrance of the US in terms of obtaining a visa from an Arab nation has become increasingly difficult over the years. This creates an obstacle for Middle East investment. “Middle East business people are finding it increasingly difficult to get a visa to the US,” he said.

Although the world’s “internationally recognised” financial centres still exist in New York and London, with Dubai closing up in the picture, Koutaro Tamura, former parliamentary secretary for Financial Services in Japan’s Cabinet Office believes that this situation will change.

“There will be tens of financial centers because countries like Russia, Argentina and the UAE are generating more growth,” he said.

Tamura encouraged investors to pull out from the US and focus on the East. “We welcome your money, cash out and get out of the US,” he said.

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